AND, FI­NALLY… Robert Smith

Q (UK) - - Cure -

on Close To Me (The Head On The Door, 1985)

Of all the songs we’ve writ­ten, Close To Me was a slightly sur­real mo­ment. It wasn’t even def­i­nitely an al­bum track [ for 1985’ s The Head On The Door] when we recorded it. It wasn’t right up un­til I’d done the vo­cal, all the close-breath­ing, and we asked them to go quite ex­treme on the pro­duc­tion and make it claus­tro­pho­bic-sound­ing, that it sud­denly came to life. Up un­til that point it had been an av­er­age sort of song. When­ever we’ve per­formed it live it generally oc­cu­pied an encore po­si­tion be­cause I’ve never had to play an in­stru­ment on it. It’s one of the few Cure songs that I don’t have to play on, which gave me a chance to take the mic off the stand, go for a walk and make a fool of my­self. I’ve got fond mem­o­ries of Close To Me. “We did an acous­tic ver­sion [ for 2001 com­pi­la­tion Great­est Hits]. We got [ drum­mer] Boris [ Wil­liams] back in and rat­tled through the en­tire Great­est Hits al­bum in a night acous­ti­cally, it was quite a fun evening. Boris was our drum­mer from like ’ 84 to ’ 94 and came back on per­cus­sion just to create a better vibe. The mark of a good song is some­thing that trans­lates acous­ti­cally for me, I’m old-fash­ioned in that way, and strangely Close To Me does. I al­ways thought it re­lied en­tirely on the sound in­volved, the pro­duc­tion and that sense of claus­tro­pho­bia, but in fact when we did it acous­ti­cally it’s ac­tu­ally a jaunty lit­tle pop song. It’s better than I think it is, prob­a­bly. “The orig­i­nal lyrics to the song weren’t the Close To Me lyrics, it was to­tally dif­fer­ent, it was a much more up­beat song. Then at the last minute I sang these words that I had left over. I didn’t think there was any­thing mu­si­cally that worked with the words. The words were ac­tu­ally about this sense of im­pend­ing doom that I used to get. I had chicken pox when I was re­ally young and it started there. I used to get these hor­ri­ble, night­mar­ish vi­sions of this head that used to hover in the chink of light that used to come when the bed­room lights were turned off and the door was just ajar. The shaft of light that came from the hall­way used to il­lu­mi­nate this patch of wall­pa­per and it would come to life and proph­e­sise doom to me through the night when­ever I put my eyes in that gen­eral di­rec­tion. And it came back to me when I was writ­ing The Head On The Door al­bum. I was run­ning my­self into the ground a lit­tle bit and I started to suf­fer. I sud­denly also started to get the same hal­lu­ci­na­tions, which was very odd. “The song was es­sen­tially about those two things, but at the last minute I tried singing them over this jaunty bassline and drum pat­tern. It just clicked. When we did the video I sug­gested to Tim [ Pope] we do it in a wardrobe on top of a cliff be­cause it was a good start­ing point, it was a very un­com­fort­able feel­ing. It’s a strange ge­n­e­sis for a song re­ally be­cause it was all dis­parate parts and it all came to­gether. I think par­tic­u­larly once we’d made the video that kind of ce­mented it in The Cure canon. It be­came like a clas­sic. That’s true of a lot of those mid-’ 80s sin­gles that we did videos with Tim for, it gave them an extra kick. They took on an­other life be­cause peo­ple im­me­di­ately thought of the video.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.